Understanding Collaborator Permission Levels

When inviting a person as a collaborator within a folder or file, or sending a shared link, you have the ability to set the level of access that person has to your content. Refer to the following chart to review the different permissions that accompany each permission level:





Viewer Uploader

Previewer Uploader




Edit File


File Request Link






Mark for Offline

(Box Drive only)



Mark for Offline (Box Mobile only)


View / Add Comments*


Delete Files/Folders







View / Create Tasks



Add / Edit Tags






View Tags

View Metadata


Edit Metadata



Invite People






Edit Folder Name






Edit File Name


Create Subfolders



Edit Folder Settings









Lock/Unlock File





Send View-Only Links







View Item List in Folder

Sync Folder

(Box Sync only)






Set a Collaborator's Level of Access






Restrict Invitations







View / Export Access Stats






View Recent User Activity in Preview Header
















Set Shared Link Password




* Comments can be deleted only by the folder owner, co-owner, or the creator of the comment.

** Viewers are able to download the file and upload it somewhere else, or to use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v to make a copy of the file in a folder they have access to.

*** Copy is allowed only by using the keyboard shortcut (A Viewer Uploader will not see 'Copy' as an option from the context menu for a given file).

**** Co-owners and editors can move only content contained in the folder they are collaborating on. For example, if a collaborator is invited to Folder A, which contains Folder B and File C, the collaborator can move only Folder B and File C, and cannot move the top-level item. 

† Co-owners and editors can delete sub-folders, but not root folders. Only owners can delete folders at the root level. If a co-owner attempts to delete a root folder on their account, they receive an option to End Collaboration


Available to all Accounts:

  • Editor: An editor has full read/write access to a folder or file. Once invited to a folder or file, the editor is able to view, download, upload, edit, delete, copy, move, rename, generate and edit shared links, make comments, assign tasks, create tags, and invite/remove collaborators. The editor is not able to delete or move root level folders.
  • Viewer: A viewer has read access to a folder or file. Once invited to a folder, the viewer is able to preview, download, make comments, and generate shared links.  The viewer is not able to add tags, invite new collaborators, edit shared links, upload, edit files, or delete items in the folder.

Details on Shared links:

  • A viewer cannot modify who can access a shared link. Viewers are restricted in shared link creation in the following ways:
    • If a shared link has not been created for a file or folder, the viewer is able only to create a shared link with the folder owner's default shared link setting.
    • If a shared link has been created for the file or folder, the viewer is able only to create a shared link with the access level currently established with the shared link (that is, a viewer is unable to make a shared link set to "people with the link" become "people in the company").
  • If someone is granted more than one set of permissions, the least restrictive set takes precedence.  For example, a collaborator with View access to a file/folder can see the shared link on that file/folder.  But if the shared link is set to allow Edit access, they get Edit rights to the file/folder.


Available to Business and Enterprise Accounts:


These permission levels must be enabled by the account admin in the “User Collaboration Settings” in the Admin Console. These permission levels are also applicable only to folders; collaborators in single files can be granted only Editor or Viewer access levels.


  • Previewer: A previewer has limited read access. The previewer is able only to preview the items in the folder using the integrated content viewer. The previewer is not able to share, upload, edit, or delete any content.
  • Uploader: An uploader has limited write access. The uploader is able only to upload and see the names of the items in a folder. The uploader is not able to download or view content.
  • Viewer Uploader: This access level is a combination of Viewer and Uploader. A viewer uploader has full read access to a folder and limited write access. They are able to preview, download, add comments, generate shared links, and upload content to the folder. They are not able to add tags, invite new collaborators, or delete items in the folder. To update a file, people with this permission had to download a file, edit it locally, and re-upload (using the same file name). Effective May 2014, these collaborators can use Box Edit to perform the same action (download, edit, and re-upload) seamlessly.


    Viewer uploaders cannot modify file names nor delete files. They can only edit files using Box Edit, or continue to use the manual process of download, edit, and re-upload.


  • Previewer Uploader: This access level is a combination of Previewer and Uploader. A previewer uploader has limited read and write access to a folder. They are able to preview, add comments, add tasks, and upload content to the folder. They are not able to add tags, generate shared links, invite new collaborators, edit or delete items in the folder.
  • Co-owner: A Co-owner has all of functional read/write access that an editor does. This permission level has the added ability of being able to change some advanced folder settings. Co-owners cannot change the owner of a folder.